Yes. However, Caroll County only allows the cultivation of medical marijuana by licensed medical marijuana growers per the Maryland Medical Cannabis Statutory Provisions. As of May 2023, the county has one licensed grower that supplies medical marijuana to processors, dispensaries, and independent testing laboratories. Limits on the number of plants that may be cultivated are not set by the state. Crop protection agents may be used, and cultivated medical marijuana must be tested by independent testing laboratories to ensure their quality and safety. Licensed medical marijuana growers may also be licensed as processors or dispensaries following Section 13-3306.
Rules on cultivating marijuana in the county will change in July 2023, when House Bill 556 and Senate Bill 516 take effect. This follows after the Maryland General Assembly passed the two bills in 2022 allowing the adult use of marijuana in the state. Licensed medical marijuana growers may choose to convert their license to be allowed to grow adult-use marijuana. Personal cultivation will also now be allowed. Adults aged 21 or older may lawfully cultivate two marijuana plants in their homes regardless of the number of adults living in the same residence. On the contrary, medical marijuana patients may cultivate four plants per residence. Cultivation areas must be indoors, not easily seen by the public, and secured to prevent unauthorized access.
Medical cannabis businesses must comply with state regulations concerning video surveillance, inventory control, and inspections.
Carroll County permits the processing of medical marijuana. To be a licensed processor, Section 13-3309 states that applicants must submit an application fee and application containing the processor’s legal name and physical address, operating procedures, and details of its principal officer and director to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), now known as the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA). Initial licenses are valid for six years, while renewed licenses are given a four-year validity.
One licensed medical marijuana processor operates in Carroll County as of May 2023. According to state provisions, licensed processors may process medical marijuana into concentrates or products such as oil, wax, ointment, tincture, capsule, suppository, patch, cartridge, and edibles. These products may be packaged, labeled, transferred, sold, and distributed to licensed dispensaries to be purchased by qualifying patients, caregivers, and academic researchers. All products are subject to testing by independent laboratories prior to release from processing sites.
As stipulated in the Packaging and Labeling Guide of medical marijuana products, packages must be plain and opaque and include details such as lot number, expiration date, list of ingredients, potency, directions for use, and warning labels. Product packages must not resemble commercially available candy, baked goods, or beverages. Additionally, these must not be attractive to children.
The MCA will begin the process of adult-use marijuana licensing by July 2023.
As of May 2023, only the retail sale of medical marijuana is legal in Carroll County through its sole licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Westminster. Nevertheless, Carroll County medical marijuana patients and caregivers may still purchase from other licensed dispensaries throughout the state. Flowers, concentrates, oils, edibles, tinctures, and topicals are available daily for sale from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. According to the MCA, a 30-day supply of 120 grams of dried flowers or 36 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be dispensed per patient. Dispensary agents must verify the validity of the medical marijuana card and written certification presented by qualifying patients or caregivers before dispensing. A Clinical Director must be available during the operating hours of dispensaries to offer education and counseling on-site or online.
Beginning July 2023, Carroll County adult residents may purchase adult-use marijuana from licensed dispensaries. A valid government-issued photo ID must be presented in every transaction. Possession limits are set to 1.5 ounces of flower, 12 grams of concentrate, or 750 milligrams of THC.
Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are authorized to offer delivery services to qualifying patients and caregivers. As stated in Title 10 Subtitle 62, the following procedures must be followed during the delivery of medical marijuana:
Qualifying patients or caregivers must call the dispensary and request the delivery of medical marijuana. Their identification and delivery address must be provided at this point.
Before processing the delivery, dispensary agents should confirm that the qualifying patient or caregiver is actively registered in the program. Additionally, the patient must have a valid written certification containing no more than a 30-day supply of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana may only be delivered in a private residence or medical facility where the qualifying patient is treated. A valid ID card must be presented to the delivery agent, and the patient or caregiver must sign a receipt upon delivery.
Caroll County residents may apply for a medical marijuana card online if they are diagnosed to have one of the following medical conditions: anorexia, cachexia, wasting syndrome, glaucoma, seizures, severe nausea, chronic pain, severe muscle spasms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other severe chronic medical conditions with ineffective treatments.
The registration process differs for adults (18 years old and above) and minors (below 18 years old). Minor patients must have at least one designated caregiver who must register first before the minor patient. Adult patients and caregivers must have an email account, a full 9-digit Social Security Number, a digital copy of a valid government-issued photo ID, proof of residence, and a recent passport-sized photo. Once all requirements are complete, applicants may register on the Maryland OneStop Portal. The MCA will review the applications, and once approved, patients may visit a registered provider to obtain a written certification for medical marijuana. Patients or caregivers must present their medical marijuana card, ID number, and written certification when purchasing medical marijuana from dispensaries.
The Maryland Cannabis Administration may be contacted from Mondays to Fridays (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM) for inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 487-8100.
In line with state regulations, Carroll County allowed the medical use of marijuana in 2014. Since then, the number of medical marijuana providers and the amount of products sold has increased, which helps the state’s economy in general.
Based on a 2022 report, the state’s total number of certified providers has increased from 606 in 2017 to 1,544 in 2022. Meanwhile, the total sales of medical marijuana significantly grew from $96,119,731 in 2018 to $468,364,817 in 2022, attributed to the state’s 162,863 medical marijuana patients. While sales continue to rise throughout the years, the average price per gram of medical marijuana has decreased to make it more accessible for patients – $11.81 in 2018 to $7.90 in 2022.
The medical use of marijuana has been permitted in Carroll County since 2014. About nine years later, the county is set to regulate its adult use after the state passed two bills allowing adults to use marijuana as well.
Although medical marijuana is legal in the county, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office has recorded increasing crime rates related to marijuana possession and sales. According to its report on the FBI Crime Data Explorer, arrests for marijuana possession offenses are as follows: 162 in 2013, 161 in 2015, 195 in 2017, and 312 in 2019. On the other hand, arrests for marijuana sales offenses were six in 2013, 10 in 2015, 26 in 2017, and seven in 2019.